Les Wicks

A Few Poems


A man at the window
is watching quietly,
thinks he’s hidden in the dark.

But I, too, am watching him.

And I have learnt
that men’s eyes will pulse
as naturally as the sun.
Sometimes fierce
& occasionally upsetting.

Like good handymen
we sand, then lacquer
coat after coat
of civilised regulations.

Yet still they are men’s eyes
weaving, dancing
or gibbering to their nature.



“This is worse than work”.

Says the large heavy-boot t-shirt beard & tatts leaning over
his laptop between fags & squinting up
at those ugly-bugger rain clouds to the south
advancing like scabs.

We laugh
as we must here
because like all wars the soldiers mainly wait
& the contestants have ordered roles involving very little.

Called to the pickets
we’re sacked workers, hobos,
folk song heroes
& middle aged middle weight hairy-faced thick glasses
faded denim dungaree detritus
of what’s left of the Left.

Plus three millionaires (embarrassed)
& a surprise five suits on old men
from a time when their decisions are reached with gravity,
last forever like plastic.

A star. Three families. & that was about it.

We are 4 seconds footage on the evening news
democracy at its most tedious,
less dangerous than rollerblades.

To be an obstruction is not a feat, our roles
were scripted in the last century,
but something here lifts us beyond the wire & placards.

To be that blood on the wattle
is no great thing
& too quickly volunteered by those not bleeding …
too many freed of immediacy, but

despite all the diversions & failing/////
the ambition, hate & lies

when you stand together
behind something as quixotic
as an idea

to be human

is hot & heady, plenty
to be proud.



This is Cabramatta Station.
Saturday night.
Crossing the pedestrian overhead
I’ve had 5 approaches
Can I help you?

Neat petite well dressed & friendly
this is a powdered night for the busy ones,
the vendors of small packages.

While down below
platform 1
the junkies wait for trains in downpipe-drip silence
while 2 security guards
like nurses keep the punters
quiet & upright.
They’re built like
& they are
human bulldozers.

But the scene is almost as friendly
as the innocuous wallpaper of
Can I help you. A grey haired shiftworker
is eating enormous steaming cobs of corn.
He’s busy & ravenous but this
is tonight’s only
emotional excess.

This system so smooth
the progress so paved that

you expect the players to shake hands
at the end of each session,
adjourn to some club
to celebrate the game & hunt for winners.



On a bob cut outcropping of volcanic stone
the priest looks out
to an approaching line of thunderstorms
& remembers his washing.

In the bus
the driver is dreaming crimes to
make a cannibal blush until
he’s flummoxed by the smile of a child.

We are having
a complex day.



Wheel out
can-ape-aze, the office cake & cheap champagne!

Spin in my fear-fucker soot,
those polycotton ropes that tie
me to the world of work

are dropping
one by one union dues,
superannuation, e-mail, outcome planning &
CABCHARGE (that small slice of plastic,
its powers of the passage!)

Three drinks, Anita’s speeches
then I’m game to even kiss the leaches
like a fridge cleanout –
no more handing out towels in the brothels of power.
No checking & stealing
of an enemy’s pulse.

& feel the future rise
hectic & eclectic & all inside my head
where it grows like hothouse marijuana.

I race back the computer to finish a last document
then type logout like communion &
escape into a long flagrant spring heat
feeling emotional but regretless. Irresponsible & complete.

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